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Empowerment of Woman Farmers in Swaziland
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Profiling WOFACO Previous Winners

2007 winner Thembisile Dlamini (Mahlangatsha)

  • Entered the competition for her maize farming enterprise in 2007. When she started farming she had her focus on vegetables and maize production. Having been a winner and through capital inputs received as competition prizes she has been able to diversify her enterprising with sweet potato, beans, vegetables, goat, indigenous chicken, and piggery production.

  • Started with 1 hectare of land and having leased land from neighbours she now cultivates 3 hectares of land. The land is leased on a joint venture basis with its owners, carrying forward the mandate and vision of the foundation for enhanced livelihoods within her community.

  • Although Thembisile has not received training specific for commercial goat farming and commercial production of indigenous chickens she still produces goats and indigenous chickens for commercial purposes. She has received training on piggery production when she ventured into the enterprise so much that she is able to grow the animal feed herself and not rely on animal feed processors for her animal feed supplements.

  • She attributes her growth in business to the trainings, facilitated by the woman farmer foundation, on business and production management. Her improved record keeping skills allow her to easily identify potential profits or losses.

  • She also runs a store where she sells her produce in her community.

  • Outside her enterprising and home management she also cares for 5 orphans from her church.

2008 winner Thabsile Gooday (Hhohho)

  • She was awarded women farmer of the year under poultry production sector yet she now has diversified her enterprise to vegetable and legume production.

  • Due to demand for organic products, she has decided to use chicken waste as manure from her poultry sector to enrich her soil and enhance vegetable production.

  • The prizes she won from the competition helped her develop an effective and efficient sanitation and animal husbandry practises for her enterprise.

  • The competition also boosted her recognition and appeal to the nation and her community where she mentors other woman farmers and youth towards initiation of Agribusiness.

  • She is a founder of a commodity group in her area where they expose neighbouring farmers to markets and discuss issues of improving production as well as pest control.

  • She is also part of a community charity program where they provide clothing, food and social support to vulnerable and orphaned children.

  • Apart from community work, she is part of a Seed development and production foundation which is sponsored by CANGO which focus on improvement of seeds as well as providing permits to import more improved seeds.

  • Thabsile strongly advice and support the youth to partake in Agriculture and believes they will come up with much more innovative ideas.

2009 winner Winile Zulu (KaShiba Sandleni constituency)

  • Entered the competition in 2009 for her vegetable farming enterprise. Since winning the competition she has managed to grow her business by constructing 2 grocery stores and a restaurant in her Chiefdom. She has also added piggery production to her farming enterprises, besides being a seasonal maize farmer.

  • Winile has been able to provide employment for 10 individuals in her community, with 4 of the individuals hired as permanent staff. She also works with government extension officers in the Regional Development Area centres (RDA�s) to motivate and mentor aspiring women and youth farmers in her community and surrounding areas.

  • She is also a member of her Chiefdom inner council; an influential body that advises the Chief on communal issues and issues pertaining to community development.

  • Works collaboratively with other women farmers in her region (Shiselweni) to create a pool for donations to aid OVC�s in their communities with food and clothing, tuition payments and school uniform acquisition.

2010 winner Precious Dlamini (Ngobelweni Kubuta constituency)

  • Entered the competition in 2010 for her dairy farming enterprise. Has also managed to grow her enterprising with the inclusion of broilers and layers poultry farming.

  • She has been a community development officer (Bucopho) since 2004 working with development committees in her constituency and chiefdom.

  • When she joined the competition in 2010 she had been managing a herd size of 4 cows and has grown the herd to a size of 9 cows (6 cows in milk plus 3 heifers). She is also able to grow feed for her cows to provide supplementary feeding (sugar beans and yellow maize) and dry feeding (Hay).

  • In her community she has managed to motivate and mentor a total of 5 women to be able to produce commercially and keep records of their transactions.

  • She also works with her church in their social responsibility programme to care for the underprivileged elderly and OVC�s (wherein 2 orphaned children are cared for by her).

2011 winner Thulisile Nhlabatsi (Hawane Motshane constituency)

  • Entered the competition in 2011 for her dairy farming enterprise. She has also diversified her farm production with the inclusion of vegetable production.

  • The Capital inputs she received as prizes during the competition, like the 2 point portable milking machine, assisted her efficiency in conducting her work while also contributing to her growth.

  • Her dairy enterprise is now also a site for practical demonstrations facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Swaziland Dairy Board. University students are also attached for their internship programs by the Unversity to gain experience in the field of work.

  • She has been nominated once to be a member of parliament for her constituency although she never attained the position. She is also a board member of the Swaziland Dairy Development Board, a government Parastatals responsible for the regulation of dairy trade and development in the country.

  • Thulisile Nhlabatsi is also a member of a corporative called Lidwala Dairy farmers cooperative located in Majuba and is also chairperson for the Swazi Dairy development committee.

  • She mentors aspiring dairy farmers and young children and she donates some of her produce to OVC care points and to nearby needy schools.

2013 winner Khabonina Dlamini (Mafutseni, Manzini region)

  • Entered the competition under the vegetable production sector. Her enterprise face challenges such as lack of water for irrigation. This has caused her to focus on broiler husbandry as well as growing citrus fruits.

  • Winning the competition has improved her recognition in her country as a woman farmer

  • She is an active farmer who empowers the youth and women to initiate Agribusinesses through media.

  • She assist community members by providing them with seedlings (especially fruits) inorder to improve the state of social security in her community.

  • She is responsible for numerous soup kitchens in her area where they provide clothing and social support.

2014 winner Miriam Mamba (kaPhunga)

  • She entered the competition in 2014 for her vegetable production. She has now expanded to produce baby vegetables and also ventured into piggery farming.

  • WFF has aided her to grow her business with the farming inputs she received as prizes and also owns a cold room to store her produce.

  • Other products she produces include liquid soap and floor polish. She is also involved in value addition of peanuts by producing peanut butter.

  • The value addition initiative provides market support to neighbouring farmers in her community by purchasing their peanut produce to process the peanut butter.

  • She founded a vegetable co operative with her community members in 2014 to assist farmers in their enterprise and also help OVCs with financial aid through the co operative (school uniforms and clothing).

  • Farming inputs received from the competition has improved the availability of water for irrigation.

2015 winner Fikile Sukati (Mpembekati, Manzini North)

  • Entered the competition in 2015 for her vegetable produce and she received inputs such as irrigation pipes after winning the competition.

  • She considers the inputs to be very essential and beneficial to her farm though she has faced a challenge whereby the irrigation pipes were destroyed by uncontrolled veld fires.

  • She works with local farmers of her community to link each other to market opportunities with retail outlets such as shoprite which she is contracted to. She is also a mentor to most local farmers in her community.

  • She is chairperson of the water development project in her community and also a committee member for the youth care committee where she engages the youth with regard to participating into business.

  • The above mentioned post provides her responsibility to train the youth on issues with regard to record keeping and drafting a business plan.

  • Twenty (20) OVCs benefit greatly from her farm produce especially with regard to food parcel donations, and also works to assist the valnurable children with the same material needs.

  • Woman Farmer Foundation has improved her recognition and status in her community. She attributes the recognition she now receives in her community to having being a winner of the woman farmer of the year competition.

2016 winner Mhlophe Mhlanga ( Lobamba Lomdzala, Manzini)

  • As the current winner, she is also the key advocate for the Woman Farmer Foundation for the year 2016/17

  • She works collaboratively in the office of the foundation and the ministry of Agriculture (extension service) in effort to motivate more women to engage in Agribusiness.

  • She produces various commodities in her enterprise which include vegetables, and beekeeping but is mostly focused on maize production. Apart from farm produce, she also sells traditional attire.

  • She is well recognised in her area for providing strong support to chronically ill children and OVCs whom she feeds with her farm produce at her soup kitchen and sells surplus produce for income to sustain her soup kitchens.

  • Her farm production strategy is very diverse and allows for production for the market especially within the Manzini region.

  • She has standing agreements to supply various retail outlets with her farm produce. Where she is unable to satisfy demand she gives opportunities to other farmers to access markets through her agreements (an out grower program).

  • She is also engaged by some civil society organisations to motivate aspiring farmers and youth to be self sustaining, in her community and surrounding areas. An example is Kwakha Indvodza organization on male youth capacitation. The organization leases premises from her and she is also engaged in some of the capacitation programmes for the male youth in her community.

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